In November the snow came to visit us sometimes, but in December it moved here definitely. Estonia has been white (at least in the south) and cold. I´ve discovered how is the experience to live a real winter. And i ended up in the middle of a desert, but i will talk about that further.
The first weekend of the month
The first weekend of the month, with Melina and our friends who are in Võru, we went to Tallinn to visit the Christmas market to feel the Christmasy atmosphere of the capital. Although it wasn´t snowy, there was a lot of people in the Old Town, so the ambient was quite nice, with concerts, choreographies and that hot tea with acohol. We wrote about that for the December´s Tankla newspaper.
A dancing company from St. Petersburg was performing that night
It was cold on the streets, and that bring us the possibility to walk over the frozen water next to the Linnahall, which was something new for me, i think it was the first time in my life i was walking over a frozen large body of water. We also visited McDonald´s.
Christmas was coming with a lot of gingerbread
When i came back to Tõrva, the town was so snowy and beautiful. I discovered the importance of having a good pair of snowboots. In the noortekeskuses and noortetubas we were doing piparkook (gingerbread) almost everyday. In Spain we don´t have gingerbread, so it was something new for me. When they told me we were going to do it, i was wondering it was going to be some kind of bread (or cake) with ginger. But no, it´s cookies without ginger. They are good, but i think i ate too much this christmas.
I made a spain-shaped gingerbread (Actually it´s the Iberian Peninsula)
The next weekend, i wanted to explore some town, so i ended up in Elva. I walked every street of the town, taking pictures of ducks and stuff. When there wasnñt anything left there, i started walking to the forest through a route with wooden statues. Beautiful landscapes, but it was getting dark and started raining. So i went to Võru to meet with Katharina, Anna, Melina and a new girl from italy called Eleonora. That weekend we also made pancakes and went to McDonalds, so it was a very complete weekend.
Next weekend we explored the surroundings of Tartu city.
We just walked for hours in search of a lake that was probably only in our minds
During the rest of the month, in the youthcenters we did some christmas parties. Artemis, Melina and me also went to Valga for one event where they give prices for people of Valga County who has done something good or important that year, such as deportists, musicians, youthworkers... But the most important thing is that there was cake. A lot of cake. It was so good and there was much left, so Melina and me we repited some times. Those days i also photographed a volleyball competition and a Christmas party in Ritsu school.
On the streets, something new started to appear. It was some kind of sledges (quite bigs) that many old people uses to walk properly. Looks fun, and it´s very striking for me. Also something very striking for me its the fact that children are not playing with the snow. Why? All this snow would be a paradise for most of the children in Spain, and here they are just ignoring it. I asked to one girl in Ala School «Why you are not outside playing with the snow?». «I´s cold» She said. She was right, but it´s also cold when you go to swim in the sea, even in summer, so it should be something else. Next day, in Ritsu, i said to the kids «Let´s go outside to play with the snow!» They looked at me like thinking «What´s wrong with you?» But they followed me to the little field infront of the school. I was so excited. I tried to start a snowball battle, but it was impossible. The snow was so sandy, it was like trying to make balls with dry beach sand. Okay- i said- let´s do an snow man! It was even more difficult. That´s how i discovered why estonian kids are not playing with the snow. Well, they have some little sledges, it´s something.
I like how every room in blocs of flats has different colors lights.
Holidays in my hometown
The last days of the month i had some freedays, so i decided to go to Spain, Lithuania and Latvia. It´s an strange combination of countries, but it has an explanation.
On 22th od December i flew from Tallinn to Spain (Trough London). It was a long day, but in the night i arrive to Alicante, a city close to Murcia. The contrast of the temperatures in Estonia (-7º to 4º) and the tempratures in the south of Spain (8º to 22º) made me feel like in summer. Those days i saw the sun again since too much time, it was nice to go to the streets without need of 80kg of clothes.
Then, a new adventure was starting: how to share time with family and friends in the three days i was there. I was always with somebody and/or eating. It was very nice, but too restless.
This was Murcia one morning
On 26th, i flew from Madrid to Vilnius. Christmas with family and friends passed faster than the hyperloop, but i was not sad or something, because now i was going to travel through Lithuania and Latvia.
In the desert
The first day i just explore a bit Vilnius Oldtown, because i went already two years ago and i just wanted to see it with snow. So quite early i went to the station and took one bus to Kaunas. There i explored the city and meet with some friends. Next day, i took the first bus to Klaipeda. I walked a lot, ate typical (and cheap) food and meet some locals. Afterwards, next morning, i decided to go to Nida, where there´s a very big dunes. After one boat and one hour by bus, there i was. I was so close to Russia. I explored the dunes completely alone, because it was raining and it was not the best day to be there. I felt like in a movie or something, the contrast of the desert with the boreal forest made it a very beautiful place.
I didn´t expected to find this place in Lithuania
The same day i took another bus, a boat, and another bus to go to Riga, Latvia. My plan was to sleep in Estonia, but it was not possible because of the bus timetables. In Riga i arrived around 22:00 and i bought something to eat. Then i went to a flat were Melina was being hosted thanks to a popular hosting web (i don´t want to name brands or companies) so there i ate the shushi i bought in Maxima and the Juustuburger i order in Hesburger. Next day, we took the earliest train to Valga, and around 16:00 i was already at home. But not for so long.
Next day it was 31 of December. Do you know what does it means? Because i don´t. In the morning (not so early) i took a bus to Tallinn. I was so tired because of the previous days trip, so i didn´t took the camera with me. I felt myself strange without it, but i needed some rest.
I arrived to Tallinn at four in the afternoon, so i went for a walk and to eat a nice cauliflower burrito. At seven something, Anna an Katharina arrived, so i was not lonely anymore. We decided to go to a place we really like: Hesburger. We stayed there till eight something, when Melina arrived. Let´s go somewhere else to eat - we said- so we went to another Hesburger 173,35 meters from there. We ate some healthy food and then we started walking to the oldtown. There wasn´t snow again :( We ended up in a concert that was very good. After some time, somehow i lose my friends and i was walking alone down those crowded streets. It was half-past eleven and it started to snow. Nice. Down the streets i saw a group of people who was singing, playing some oriental instruments and dancing happily so, before to cross to the 2019 alone, i prefered to be with those random people -afterwards i discovered the were the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It was snowing a lot now, and the scene was magic. When 2018 was going to die in only a few minutes, i was so cold that i also started dancing/jumping. Then, suddnely, we were in 2019 and the fireworks made the moment even more magical. After around 30 minutes more, i could contact with my friends and went with them. After a finnish karaoke bar, we went to a club, where i was so sleepy and i decided to try to find a hostel. Bad idea not to book before, because now there wasn´t anything available. I started thinking «Where can people sleep and not looking so weird?» I found the answer: «In the airport». It was around three something when i started walking there. When i was passing near the second Hesburger we went that day, i thought maybe a coffe and four kana nuggets were more worthy than walk so far away to sleep in the floor. When i entered it was surprised because there was too many people there. After some minutes, i was surprised because there was a lot of italians there. I ordered the coffe and the nuggets, and started eating calmly, because the night was going to be long. After some time, i felt with 33% more energy, so i came back to the club. My friends weren´t there anymore, so i look on Whatsapp and they told me they were now in another finnish karaoke bar. I went to the new finnish karaoke bar and it was like paradise for me: Comfortable couches, not very loud music, chill ambient. Let´s sleep! - i said to myself. But then the owner of the bar said they were closing. We went to the next open bar, a scottish karaoke, were, fortunately, nobody was singing. There we were talking with some random swedish guys till seven something, when we started walking to the bus station.
This is how my 2018 was over. It has been a very intense year, full of challenges and experiences for me. My life has chenged a lot since i´m in Estonia, and the proof is this video i´m doing every year (and everyday), were you can se how, from the last days of august -when i arrived to Torva- everything is more quiet and green.
En español: Bueno, así ha acabado mi año (uno muy bueno, por cierto). Así que nada, ya estoy tranquilamente instalado en el tranquilo enero, después de un frenético diciembre en el que han pasado muchas cosas interesantes. Por cierto, dejo también por aquí mi instagram en caso de que queráis ver más fotos de las que hago por aquí. My Instagram account